The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games takes place supposedly in the future, in a desolate apocolyptic United States now known as Panem. Originally thirteen districts and now only twelve, the population of Panem is in ruins. Which is in great contrast to the Capitol, where luxury and decadence are an everyday thing. Every year, the Hunger Games is held. One boy and one girl chosen from each district to fight to the death. Every child is to put their name at least once into this evil draft, more times if you are poor and need food. Our main character, Katniss, lives with her mother and her sister in the poorest part of the Twelfth District known as the Seam. Her father died in the local mines when she was young and she was put in charge of her family's well being. She learned to hunt and gather, to survive. Fast forward to the present- the Hunger Games drawing known as the Reaping, is being held. Katniss' sister, Primrose, is picked as tribute. Katniss takes her place as tribute and is taken to the Capitol for the actual games, thus beginning a whirlwind of training, interviews and testing by the Gamemakers for sponsorship. Katniss is paired up with the other District tribute, Peeta, and they are portrayed as a couple. Then the Hunger Games begins. Katniss knows that she is outnumbered and that a lot of the other tributes are a lot stronger than her. Several of the tributes have been training for this since birth. Katniss only has her hunting skills and her survival skills but she uses them to her advantage. Using her survival techniques and basic camouflage, she out lasts over half of the tributes before actually needing to come into the actual games. After narrowly avoiding a forest fire, fighting with some of the more difficult tributes and even hallucinating from horrid bee stings, Katniss thinks she is prepared for anything. But nothing can prepare her for what the Gamemakers have in store for her.
I could most relate with Katniss throughout the book. She is a strong girl who primarily takes care of her family. She hunts for their food and cares for her little sister, Primrose, like she is her own. I used to help take care of Aunt April and Uncle Kalvin when I lived with my parents, I know what kind of task it is. It is a very hard thing to do (and I cannot imagine how hard it was for Katniss) but it creates a deep bond and love for the other sibling. I feel like I am so close with my siblings now because of it. I helped raise them and because of that, we will never drift apart, even as they grow older. I am also pretty experienced with hunting and/or bow shooting. I come from a family of hunters (as most people do when you live in Montana) and was raised to know how to take care of my family and myself even if grocery stores did not exist. I can shoot an arrow successfully, as well as a rifle, and I am not afraid to gut an animal. I also have a lot of knowledge of plants that grow commonly around us. I'm not sure if I would be as good at surviving like Katniss did but I am confident that I would be quite a bit better at it than most girls.
I would definitely recommend this book to someone who reads apocalyptic and survival type books. Or to anyone who has seen the movie, because this book seems to be at a totally different level then the books are. From what I have seen in the commercials, they only share the same basic idea. This book has so much more intensity than from what I have seen of the movie. There were certain points were I did not even want to set the book down, I was so worried about what would happen. I really got into the main character and felt very invested in her living throughout this book. Lon can attest that I even yelled while reading a few times. :) There are some crazy twists that leave you feeling so confused about the end results! I cannot wait until I read the second one!
I spaced and packed away the book before finding a quote from it, oops! I will post one when we are moved in and unpacked.
The song I picked for this book is November by Silverstein. It mostly reminds me of the hopeless feelings Katniss experiences throughout this book. Whether it be starvation, other tributes, mutated animals or even the Capitol, Katniss experiences quite a lot of turmoil in this book and feels pretty helpless. This song reminds me of that.
The Hunger Games was obviously made in to a movie but I have yet to see it. In fact, the movie was what got me interested in the book. But I vow to read the books before seeing the movie, so I will see it soon! Cannot wait, it looks different but very good!
Not sure what my next book review will be about, I have to find someone to trade books with first. I would love to read the second book as soon as possible though!